In the Markdown help it says that you need to

Indent four spaces to create an escaped block

This however does not work. In a comment I wrote XML with 4 spaces indentation, plus a language definition. This is the actual text:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns:xhtml="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<title>De mægtige vikinger</title>
<xhtml:link rel="shortcut icon" href="favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />

Also, spaces for indentation counts as characters. Meaning you can write more code if you don't bother formatting it. This is counter intuitive to have easy to read and accessible comments.

The resolution should be to implement a robust code formatter and not count formatting instructions in the sum of how many characters a user can write.

UPDATE All answers up till now has been misleading. Please follow the links and check the support page. It might also help to read the comment discussed to see why it's relevant and can not be inline.

  • This is the actual text: <!-- language: lang-xml --> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd"> <svg version="1.1" xmlns="w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns:xhtml="w3.org/1999/xhtml"> <title>De mægtige vikinger</title> <defs> <xhtml:link rel="shortcut icon" href="favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" /> </defs> </svg> Jan 21, 2014 at 10:57
  • Where is it stated that comments support full markdown? The comment helptext is quite clear that it only supports a limited subset of markdown. Multi-line comments, let alone code in comments, is not supported. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:00
  • Code is meant to be in posts (questions and answers) rather than in comments.
    – Jerry
    Jan 21, 2014 at 11:00
  • @MartijnPieters when you click help (next to the comment text area) and then Learn more... you get to the help page I linked to. If this is wrong - it should be fixed. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:07
  • @dotnetCarpenter: The small help text starts with: Comments use mini-Markdown formatting. The 'Learn more...' page starts with Comments support only bold, italic, code and links followed with samples for all four of those types of formatting. The code sample uses ` backticks. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:09
  • @dotnetCarpenter When I click learn more on a comment I get sent to this link: stackoverflow.com/editing-help#comment-formatting, which is correct. I don't get sent to the quoted link Jan 21, 2014 at 11:10
  • You're right. I misread the information as it's on the same page. Changing this to feature request. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:14
  • @dotnetCarpenter Its usually best to ask a whole new question if you want to fundamentally change it Jan 21, 2014 at 11:16
  • I've just updated the question. @RichardTingle Do you think it's fundamentally changed? Jan 21, 2014 at 11:23
  • @dotnetCarpenter Well all the answers are now no longer applicable so I would say yes it has Jan 21, 2014 at 11:24
  • @RichardTingle I see your point. I'll create a new question. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:30
  • @dotnetCarpenter I think thats the best way forward, that way you get a clean slate to make your case. I've rolled this back to its previous version in that case Jan 21, 2014 at 11:37
  • @RichardTingle How do I get my update text so I don't have to write it all again? Jan 21, 2014 at 12:05
  • @dotnetCarpenter Its all saved in the revision history. Which you can get to by clicking on "edited 31 minutes ago", or by following this link. Clicking edit on your revision gives you the exact markdown it had at the time Jan 21, 2014 at 12:08
  • @RichardTingle as a side note: Because this question had a <!-- language: lang-xml -->, the code is hidden. It kinda makes it difficult to see what the question is about. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:10

2 Answers 2


Comments support only some markdown

Because comments do not support new lines they also don't support indentation. You can get limited code formatting using mini markdown and the backtick code format:

This comment has code: `int a=0;`, the variable `a` is set to 0


This comment has code: int a=0;, the variable a is set to 0.

Code in comments shouldn't be overused

However, significant amounts of code should not be found in comments, since comments are to request clarification/critique to existing posts, not to offer solutions

Where to find more information

In addition to the formatting help document you quote the comments come with their own help, which you can access when adding a new comment (see below).

enter image description here

  • This comment has code: int a=0;, the variable a is set to 0 Jan 21, 2014 at 10:59
  • The code in the comment is the minimum required to ask why the answer did not work. Inline code is too restrictive. In general markup languages just requires more text, than programming language. Jan 21, 2014 at 11:05

Click 'show help' next to the comment box for a guide to mini-markdown formatting in comments:

Show Help


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